Fields whittled down in city council races

Seats up for grabs in Washougal, Battle Ground, La Center

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

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The field of city council hopefuls has been whittled down in Clark County's smaller cities following Tuesday's primary election.

Washougal, Battle Ground and La Center had primary elections Tuesday night.

In Washougal, Lisa Voeltz will advance to face incumbent Councilman Paul Greenlee in the Nov. 5 general election. George Kolin, who previously ran for city council in 2011, came in third.

During the primary, Kolin said he wouldn't mind losing the primary, as long as Greenlee lost the general election. Voeltz received 401 votes, 32.82 percent of the vote, while Kolin received 173 votes, or 14.16 percent.

But Greenlee was the big winner — despite a night of sparse election returns — receiving 638 votes after the preliminary tally of Tuesday night's ballots. That equals 52.21 percent of the vote. He also came out on top of campaign contributions, raising $5,205, according to the state's Public Disclosure Commission.

That money will be used to mount a full-fledged general election campaign, he said.

Battle Ground's primary pitted Councilman Mike Ciraulo against three challengers: Lyle Lamb, Richard Brown and Cherish DesRochers.

Along with Ciraulo, who received 525 votes, 36.56 percent of the preliminary vote, Lamb will also advance to the general election. He received 444 votes, 30.92 percent of the vote.

The top two candidates were also the top two raisers of campaign donations.

Ciraulo spent much of the primary season hiking the Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. Despite his monthlong absence from the campaign trail, he managed to raise $4,164 in campaign contributions, according to the most recent filings with the PDC. Lamb, meanwhile, has raised $2,664.

In La Center, Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem Al Luiz and former police chief Tim Hopkin will advance to the general election. Nathan Stokes, a political newcomer who is active in the community, came in third.

Luiz received 188 votes, or 49.09 percent of the vote, despite an incident last month when his campaign signs went temporarily missing. Hopkin, who briefly contemplated withdrawing from the race, received 122 votes, 31.85 percent of the vote.

Hopkin said he's firmly committed to winning the general election.

"I'm ready to commit 150 percent to this," Hopkin said. "I didn't really campaign for the primary. My effort will be from this point forward."

Elsewhere in the county, Clark County Fire & Rescue and the Washougal School District also had primary elections.

For CCF&R Position 1, W. Frank Mazna and David Town will advance to the general election.

In the Washougal School District, Blaine Peterson and Jeanie Moran will advance.

Tyler Graf: 360-735-4517; tyler.graf@columbian.com